The 2019 edition of the Offaly Senior Hurling Championship kicked off last weekend with all eight teams in action. There were no shocks in the opening round with all four favourites taking the spoils.
With the next round of action scheduled for this weekend, there is little time for reflection be it positive or negative as teams switch their focus to their next battle.
The games this weekend will be the last in the championship until July with Shinrone, Ballinamere, Coolderry and Kinnitty facing into this weekend games needing a win to make sure they are not pointless before the big break.
Last year's champions Coolderry were defeated 2-15 to 2-11 by Birr on Saturday evening. Eoghan Cahill pucked over eight points against a Coolderry side who were missing Stephen Corcoran, Kevin Brady, Brian Carroll, David King and could only call on Cathal Parlon from the bench.
The second game on Saturday evening saw Kilcormac/Killoughey record a 1-16 to 0-16 win over Shinrone.
Shinrone were a fancy by many before the game but despite enjoying a large chunk of the possession, they couldn't find the scores to overtake the double K's. James Gorman got the all important goal for K/K while Shinrone were rocked by Sean Cleary having to go off injured in the opening half.
New manager, Tipperary folk hero, Ken Hogan was smiling as St Rynagh's off to a winning start on Sunday afternoon with a 1-18 to 0-10 win over Kinnitty. The game never really came to life with the Rynagh's men always looking the likely winners.
Matthew Maloney fired 1-3 from midfield for the victors while Kinnitty finished the game with 14 men after Matthew McRedmond was sent off early in the second half.
The final game of the day provided no shortage of scores with Belmont taking care of newly promoted Ballinamere 4-20 to 2-13. In an amazing display of scoring, Belmont had 2-17 on the board by half time. Ballinamere came back into it and won the second half but the job was done for Belmont who had Oisin Kelly in fine form with 2-3 with the other goals coming from Colin Egan and Joe Maher.
This weekends games throw up four more interesting pairings. On Saturday in a double header in Birr – last year's champions take on last years Senior B champions when Coolderry square up to Ballinamere and that will be followed by a clash of the heavyweights – Kilcormac/Killoughey and St Rynagh's.
Sunday morning sees Birr and Kinnitty clash in Coolderry while on Sunday evening in Rath – Belmont and Shinrone clash in what could be the game of the round.
For full reports on last weekend's games and a preview of next weekend's games, see inside.